Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Young relishes fiery Anfield

Manchester United winger Ashley Young is looking forward to Sunday's encounter with Liverpool
Manchester United winger Ashley Young is looking forward to Sunday's encounter with Liverpool

Ashley Young does not believe Liverpool's flying start to the season will make Anfield any more intimidating when Manchester United visit on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson was fond of describing United's meetings with Liverpool as their derby match.

That view has been altered somewhat by Manchester City's rise to prominence in recent times, a period when Liverpool seem to have lost their way.

However, successive wins from their opening two games has fuelled a belief that the good times are coming back under Brendan Rodgers, and passions are bound to be heightened ahead of Sunday's high-profile encounter.

But Young does not see how the atmosphere could be more intense than normal.

"I don't think there has ever been a time when Manchester United have gone there and Liverpool haven't been up for it," said the England winger.

"You know what the rivalry is like between the two clubs. It will be a fiery atmosphere.

"But you want to play in the fiery games. It is what you dreamt about as a boy.

"We know what to expect. We will keep a cool head, let the fans have their rivalry and try to do our jobs in the right way."

The message from inside the Red Devils camp has repeatedly stressed how good the current squad is.

And Young has already noted the same winning mentality that has taken United to so many honours down the years in their new manager.

"He has told us already that we are in four competitions and we want to win them all," said Young.

"When you come to a place like Manchester United, you want success. You look at the trophy cabinet and the history. You want a piece of that.

"Everybody is a winner here. You see that in training. No-one wants to lose.

"If you have that in training you take it on to the pitch. We want to retain the title that we won last season."

In an ideal world, Young would be present without the aid of crutches, as was the case last May when he collected his first Premier League winners' medal still suffering the effects of an ankle injury sustained against Manchester City a month earlier that ended his campaign.

Yet pre-season did not go entirely to plan for the 28-year-old either.

He was late to join United's tour of the Far East as he continued to recover from the problem, then, after being replaced at half-time during the hammering of Kitchee FC on a tricky surface in Hong Kong, Young found himself back on the sidelines.

The former Aston Villa man only made his re-appearance during Monday's draw with Chelsea.

"It's just been a few niggly things that have happened," he said.

"I was delighted to get as much pre-season under my belt as I did but then I got injured again.

"It is frustrating but now I am back fit hopefully I can stay that way."

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